The One Question You Need to Answer {When Trials Come}

Whispers-M

I write it in bold, though I don’t need the reminder. I circle in color to proclaim it deserves a place here on my wall. This space where I display the importance of my everyday.

Calendars share events like no other, yet they are not a place to tell a story…

And I leave words off intentionally. They may be part of the event, even part of the story, but they don’t paint the picture I see.

My pen slows as I write his name in full. I print it out neatly as if I’m teaching it to him for the first time — the name his father and I painstakingly chose for him. The one I hold tightly to my chest and often exhale in stolen breaths.

In my best handwriting, I write the year below. Not to remind me of his stillborn birthday, but to remember the first time I heard “It’s a boy.” I don’t see it as an end date, but rather a beginning. And pronouncing it here helps me cling to the promise that this date of when I first held him won’t be the last.

I step back and look at the statement I’ve made. It’s not enough. These square days are too confined. But a journal… Not only can you share a story in those empty lines, but you can paint a picture. The very one you see imprinted on your heart…

It’s taken many pages, but I now see it. This masterpiece He’s been brushing on in strokes. Some heavy and hard. Others light and quick. Yet they all flow together to form the very pattern of my soul. It’s starting to take shape…the story this day has brought to my picture.

Friends, through every trial I have faced in my “short” life, one lesson has proven to be true:

Answering how, why, when, or where aren’t nearly as pertinent as answering “WHO.”
That’s really the only answer you need to know with certainty.

  • Who will walk through this with you?
  • Who will pick you up and remind you to breathe?
  • Who is still good even when all you see is bad?

And today, as I remember a day where I asked every question. As I look back and see where this pain of loss and longing has brought me. Today, as I proclaim this part of my story, I will celebrate the one answer I received.

For I discovered the answer of “WHO”. And it never changes. I can always rely on its predictability and have found comfort in it since.

Friends, I know Who holds my hand.

I know Who has never let go.

I know Who’s good. All the time. Even still…

And when I remember Who holds tomorrow. Who has overcome. Who has conquered the unbelievable this world can throw our way, I realize:

James was right.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

I write it in bold for the world to see: JOY. Because that’s what my son has taught me. That no matter why, how, when, where — none of that matters in the end. It can’t steal my joy, because I will always know the answer of Who.

And that answer promises joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5) along with new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:21-24).

He brings hope to days like today.

He is whom I will cling to when the mama inside me longs for more.

He is the answer. Every time. Even still…

How about you, friend? Do you know the answer of who? What have trials taught you? How do you answer those questions when all you see is defeat? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

I’ll Never Forget

It’s a day I will never forget. That would hold true even if the end would have been different. You see, we mothers are that way. When we see our womb-protected child on a black and white screen…we see love in immeasurable magnitudes. It leaves an impression on our heart so strong it singes the image in our mind. Forever kept as a keepsake. A reminder of how God loves us. How He blessed us with the opportunity to carry one of His own.

It’s a day I will never forget. And for some reasons, it’s because the ending was different. You see, we mothers are that way. Our senses kick into high gear as we take on the responsibility of caring for one of God’s beloved. And I was anxiously awaiting that task. Please, son, I want you to know this. I was ready to protect you at all costs.

A part of me hopes it’s a day she will forget. The poor woman who punched the clock to do her normally exciting job. Completely unaware of how she would alter our circumstances. She was excited to share in our joy with you. But no matter how she moved that wand, it wasn’t to be a magic one that day. After all, she couldn’t make your heart start beating again.

It’s a day I will never forget. The day the doctor said, “It’s a boy.” The day I proclaimed your name out loud. Held you in my arms for the first time and the last. The day I gave you back to God.

It’s a time I’ll never forget. How I sat down at the ivories like I had done the 7 months we were together. In my heart, I was still playing for you and me. And as I played the hymn over and over, God whispered love into my ear. He spoke to my mother-heart and assured me He’s got it from here.

It’s a day I never forget to look forward to. The day I can hold you in my arms again. The day I can see with my own eyes what my soul already knows. That there you are, flourishing in His courts, praising the One who made you. The One gracious enough to allow me to call you son.

This hymn is one I will never forget. For it helped this “old soul” of mine to heal. As I played the notes written, my heart finally found the rhythm. Its beat in tune with God’s plan.  And though the enemy tries to stop me, I will never forget to proclaim it.

My child, you’re safe in the arms of Jesus. Just where I would have raised you to be. And I’m blessed to be your mama. That I will never forget.

The hymn that helped me through:

Children of the Heavenly Father

(I’m sure your hymnal only gives you four of the verses.
I am sharing all six written by the original author:
Karolina W. Sandell-Berg)

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

Friends, today is my second son’s birthday. I’m sharing this with you today not for you to feel sorry for me. But for you to rejoice with me. That we serve a living God who promises to never forsake our children. Even those we don’t have the pleasure to raise to maturity.

I feel led to share a bit more with you this week about how I found joy in my grieving. In hopes I can encourage another going through a similar situation. I hope it’s not you who needs it, but would love if you’d join me regardless.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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